KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS surprised everyone when they sent Sunil Narine to open alongside Gautam Gambhir for chasing Kings XI Punjab’s 171 total.
KKR benefited from their brave decision as the Trinidadian hit a quick fire 37 off 18 balls to launch his side’s solid chase. Subsequently, courtesy of Gambhir’s 72-run knock the hosts chased the target in just 16.3 overs. As reported by IndianExpress, when asked about team’s reaction after seeing Narine with the bat, KXIP paceman Ishant Sharma said,
“We were quite surprised. We did not know how he would bat. We were thinking about Robin Uthappa. When you see Narine, you did not know what’s going to happen. We could make out seeing him in the dug-out. Maxi (Maxwell) told us that his go-to shot was the slog over the midwicket. So if we keep hitting the back of length on to his body. It’s very difficult as he’s a bowler not a batsman.”
Ishant rued giving away 76 runs in the power-play overs. He also stated that the dew factor played an important role in KKR’s chase.
“With dew the ball was coming nicely on to bat. But if you give away 76 runs in six overs, I don’t think you can win even if you scored 200. Dew was affecting too much. The spinners could not grip the ball and it was skidding nicely on to the bat. I think it was very difficult, in this format you need to have variations.”
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